Mark Karasick

Encaustic works

16 November – 24 December

Preview, Friday 19 November, 6 – 8pm

Mark Karasick (b.1959 Canada) attended Art College in Toronto. He was introduced to encaustic painting in 1983 and has continued to experiment with this Greco-Roman technique, mostly known through the Egyptian mummy portraits from Fayum and Hawara. In 1989 Swiss-Italian collector Signor Carlo Monzino sponsored Karasick to further develop his practice, and to collect his work. Karasick has exhibited his works in solo and group exhibitions across North America, Asia and Europe. He has exhibited alongside artists such as Anish Kapoor and Bill Viola in Sublime Embrace at AGH Canada, Nobuyoshi Araki and Matt Collishaw in London. 

His most recent exhibition took place at the National Gallery of Sweden, then toured to the National Gallery of Finland. Exhibiting artists included Marina Abramović, George Baselitz, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Jeff Koons, Jenny Saville, Yinka Shonibare, Gavin Turk, amongst others. Karasick was invited to carry a dialogue with an iconic work of his choice. The 4 x 6 metre encaustic painting he produced is a life-size winged Christ figure based on the study drawings of Michelangelo and the wings of the early aviator Otto Lilienthal, titled The Navigator. Karasick uses photography as part of his process. He creates numerous prints and overpaints them with encaustic (microcrystalline wax and pigment), working through potential directions before launching into the much longer process of creating a large scale painting. For Black Swan Arts, he has chosen to share some of his botanical works. The flowers are centrally composed so that they become hovering objects of serenity for contemplation. Although the base of these works is Karasick's photography, each is unique in its own right as a consequence of the encaustic process. Accompanying is a playful encaustic painting inspired by the animated nature of the son of a museum director. Karasick filmed the boy's cycle of expressions, selected some film stills and finally made a suite of five encaustic paintings.